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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Automatic UberPool connections confuse drivers and riders

Uber automatically connects new UberPool riders to existing trips. Before this policy change, drivers would receive requests they could reject or accept. Unfortunately, drivers are on the hook for every carpool match. If clients make a mistake with inputting the wrong destination, it is unlikely their drivers can help them reach this destination. Automatic ride connections adversely impact UberPool.

Examples of automatic connections compromising the quality of UberPool are when riders question the reason drivers take specific routes instead of driving them directly to work, school, home and other places. Drivers must explain to their riders about picking up or dropping off riders. Previous ride matches involved drivers who almost ran out of gas and kept getting connected with new riders. Moreover, drivers struggle to use the restroom once these ride connections flow like sewage drains.

What is the deal with automatic UberPool connections? Drivers were once given the freedom to accept or reject incoming requests. Most drivers accept UberPool riders because ride acceptance rates and cancellations are monitored by Uber to determine driver reliability. Plus, some drivers adopt morality in their daily regime - driving riders safely home motivates them.

Automatically hooking riders manipulate Partners into driving multiple clients to unspecified destinations. There is no prior knowledge of destinations until a client is retrieved at their pickup address. It is a trap to connect riders and use deactivation as a fear tactic. When drivers cancel these riders, Uber will text and email deactivation warnings. Uber claims that riders rely on drivers to get around. If this behavior continues on, Uber warns these drivers that their account may face deactivation.

To be honest, drivers and riders are left in the dark the moment new riders connect to existing trips. It is almost as if the driver and rider are surprised that another client joined them without knowing so. If drivers miss hearing the quick beeping sound, they won't notice new riders added to the route. On top of the driver app, the number of trips are shown to inform drivers of all riders waiting on the back-end to get connected.

We disapprove of automatic ride connections. Drivers are treated as independent contractors with limited rights. Surely enough, these drivers can go offline anytime without permission. However, drivers risk future repercussions canceling multiple riders awaiting pickup. Without pause a ride feature intact, drivers struggle to go offline in time since back-to-back ride requests kick-in before an existing trip ends. Uber is known to suspend drivers from using this feature for a day. They claim this feature should only be used for extended breaks. Does Uber really believe drivers only use the restroom once a day? Need gas only once? Eat once a day? Something has to give on this poor treatment.

Drivers don't have a choice to accept or reject low-rated clients on UberPool. These types of clients can/will ruin driver ratings. Is it fair to hook drivers with automatic ride connections? We see UberPool as becoming a future problem. Despite this ride manipulation, drivers are choosing to adapt - making the best of Uber to make a decent living. Until then, Uber Partners are obviously treated as independent contractors rather than viewed as service providers helping to move Uber forward.